Name: Anka Walrave

Study program: GMSI 

Exchange location: Madrid, Spain



  • Was it easy to find a room?

For me it was moderate to difficult to find a room that lived up to my expectations with respect to location, price, and facilities. Eventually I found a room via the website Spotahome. 

  • Did the university provide housing?

There are campus residences with studio appartments relatively close to the university, but it’s up to you whether you want to make use of that. They are usually relatively expensive (800+ euros a month) and are located about 50 minutes away from the city center. 

  • How expensive is housing?

This varies a lot. The campus residences are 800-1000 euros a month. I myself payed 525 a month. I lived in a shared apartment in the city center with four other people with a small kitchen and bathroom. We, however, did not have a living room. I believe 525 is relatively cheap for the city center. The further from the city center, the cheaper, usually.


Public transport

  • Is public transport well organized?

Yes, there are metros, busses, underground trains, and even public bikes for rental. I had multiple different options for traveling to uni.

  • How expensive is public transport?

If you take the youth subscription (≤ 25 years old), it’s 8 euros a month and you can use all forms of public transport within Madrid. 



  • What is your experience with choosing the courses?

This went very smooth. We were provided a list with all possible courses and respective syllabuses. Then, we got information sessions via zoom on how to apply for the courses in the platform of IE University. Only thing is that I might take quite some time to get your course approval arranged at Tilburg University. 

  • Were the courses easier, comparable or harder than at Tilburg University?

The workload was higher (a lot of group projects, presentations, reflections, et cetera), but the level of difficulty was easier than at Tilburg University. 



  • How is the student life in the city?

Very vibrant. The nightlife is a very big thing in Madrid as there are many clubs and bars. There are also several organizations like Citylife and Smartinsiders that organise all kinds of activities (daytrips, cultural activities like a flamenco workshop, pubcrawls, et cetera), especially for international/exchange students. 

  • Is there an introduction day/week? 

The university organized several introduction activities, such as a tapas night, culture shock workshop, music afternoon, a club fair, welcome cocktail party, and an introduction presentation. 

  • What are things people should definitely do/visit when they are there?

I could mention a whole list of things I would recommend, but I would definitely recommend exploring the many museums Madrid has to offer, going to a flamenco show, doing a bike tour, and foremost enjoying the nightlife of Madrid. I would also recommend discovering other places in Spain. It’s easy to travel to smaller cities like Toledo and Segovia from Madrid. Lastly, I can recommend doing a hike in the mountains north from Madrid. 

  • Do you have any general tips/ experiences you want to share?

Definitely get in touch with organizations such as Citylife and Smartinsiders and see what they have to offer (a lot!)! Joining their activities was the most important way for me to connect with people. Apart from that, just make sure you make the most out of your exchange! Madrid is a wonderful destination 🙂